They say winemaking is part science, part art. That expression may ring most true when it comes to fermenting red wines. While there have been numerous studies and much research regarding the benefits of various techniques used during fermentation, winemakers still often go with their gut, rely on their own experiences, and preferences. And the
It is in red wine production that the impact of phenolics is most influential in determining wine style and quality. We know that what is happening in wine on a chemical basis will influence choices regarding processing options and timing of activities for different wine styles. In this article, we’ll explore how polyphenolics are extracted
When I was assigned the story detailing the decisions that come up during red wine fermentations, I began to block out the options and decision trees that occur before, during, and after fermentation. As I finished the decisions that I considered important, I realized that suggesting best practices was very difficult from a single voice
Wine is far more than alcohol and grape juice. What makes the magic? Fermentation is the star. I like to drink white wine, I like to make white wine, and I like to help others make white wine, too (and I also enjoy red wines). In the nearly 20 years I have been making wine
There are so many opinions out there that we can sometimes get bogged down and mistake an opinion for fact. This is true in all aspects of life but especially in home
Having your wines judged at a competition can provide meaningful feedback, although it may not always make you feel great about your skills when the comments are critical. One man polled his winemaking club to get their feedback about entering wine competitions.
The final days leading up to your grape harvest can be anxiety-ridden for most hobbyists . . . and even for professionals. Get pointers on how to properly plan and execute a professional-style harvest.
Despite popular lore in some diet-watching crowds, sulfite in wine is not only low compared to many foods, but it is key to limit oxidation of wine and to keep spoilage at bay. Learn how to test a wine’s sulfite level and when and why to use it properly for your wines.
One of the mainstay grapes found in the heat-prone regions in the Rhône Valley of France is Cinsault. It often is utilized in blends to add softness to Rhône-style wines. Another great use is to turn it into rosé wine. Chik Brenneman gives you the scoop on this varietal.
A proud new owner of a sulfite test kit wants to know how often to test. The Wizard also answers questions on backyard vineyard planning, urethane coating on an oak barrel, extended maceration on a kit’s skin packet, and degassing wines.
As you know, the fermentation process (both the initial fermentation turning sugar into ethanol and the secondary malolactic fermentation) produces quite a lot of carbon dioxide gas. The majority of this escapes
Ah, kits are getting so clever these days! I would say it all depends on the quality of what you feel, taste, see, and smell for the material that comes in your
Well, I suppose you could sand the varnish off if you didn’t like it very much . . . but, realistically, I don’t think it’ll affect the wine that much. If you’ve read some of my pieces on smaller barrels you know that the smaller the vessel the higher the ratio of air exposure to
That is so great to hear that you’ll be planting a vineyard. Welcome to the great Sonoma County viticulture adventure! My company has vineyards in Sonoma too and I’ve been making wine from Alexander Valley and the Russian River, not to mention Carneros, AVAs for 15 years now. Hard to believe how time flies (and
If your home winemaking club runs a wine competition, you should check out this DIY stand stand that allows a high-volume wine opener to go mobile.
Adding oak to a wine can add an amazing depth of character or it can detract from the fruit. Learn some keys to managing the oak in your wine.